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Old 10-20-2012, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

Hey, I don't have a hedgehog yet (planning on hopefully getting one around mid-December), but after looking at a few lists of prohibited foods I'm still not sure whether or not giving them tofu is okay? Just asking because I'm a vegetarian, so there isn't any meat in my house. My dog will eat lightly fried tofu with soy sauce occasionally. Thought it would be nice to try so she could get a more varied treat diet, but don't want to hurt my hedgehog! Thanks in advance
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

I'm not sure if they can eat soya/tofu, but in my opinion the fact that you are a vegetarian shouldn't mean that your hedgehog shouldn't get any meat. It's an animal and he can't choose. I'm a vegetarian myself but if I have an animal that needs (the occasional) meat, they'll get it. The only problem I have is that meat is usually sold in big portions, and since I don't eat it myself it's not that handy but you can freeze some things for quite long and feed your hoggie little bits. I've also bought dried chicken for him (it's a cat treat), he really likes it and you don't need to prepare it.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

I wasn't going to keep it all vegetarian (that would be silly), I was just wondering if it could be an alternative to cooked meat? I'm planning on buying mealworms and cat treats- I feed similar things to my dog
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

Of course, you can't keep it all vegetarian (even the main food is meat of course ) but I was just referring to cooking/baking meat. I'm curious about the tofu as well, hope someone knows the answer.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

I'm a vegetarian as well, but I do cook meat and feed mice, rats, and fish to the various things that need it. In fact, I buy and cook meat specifically for my animals. If you're not willing to give your animal the full and healthy diet they need, then perhaps consider an animal that doesn't need supplements. My dog has developed an issue over the years where she cannot process any sort of processed dog food, even vet prescription kinds. I have to make her chicken and rice for her meals. There are things that you must be willing to sacrifice - for me, the smell of meat makes me nauseous, but the fact that my mammals and reptiles need it makes me do it, because I care for them.

I would not recommend feeding soy as a meat alternative even with cat food and mealworms, though most commercial cat or dog foods you'd find do contain soy products. This is not entirely based on hedgehog experience, but experience with mammals and reptiles in general over the years.

The reasoning for this: soy products are fermented soy... Soy is very rich in protein, something that is not good in extreme excess, and I have no idea nor have I heard anything about how small animals process fermented soy products. I would be very careful with trying tofu if you absolutely must have a hedgehog that doesn't eat cooked meat, simply because there isn't much information on how they'd process it. There may be no noticeable problems in the short run, but it could lead to a shorter lifespan due to diseases that very easily crop up in the liver, intestines, or colon... Fatty liver disease is a large problem in reptiles from people keeping them to more "convenient" diets for them, and is not the kind of thing that should be risked, as an example of a problem that crops up after a few years in an animal.

If this is, however, a huge problem, there are organic wet dog foods that are entirely made out of ground chicken or turkey. I feed these to my skinks as they are easy to mix in with greens, and you would not need to cook the meat yourself. I do agree with the previous poster that you wouldn't be allowing the hedgehog to choose, and that's a bit cruel. I know people who try to feed their cats or dogs entirely vegan diets simply because they're vegans, and that's inherently wrong. Their bodies are not meant to process things like ours are, so you should try to make their diet as natural for them as possible.

Best bet: suck it up and feed your animal the way it should be fed, or don't get a hedgehog. I don't mean to be harsh, but there is the inverse that by not wanting to be cruel to animals by consuming factory farmed meat that you could be harming your own animals. You should be able to at least find organic locally farmed produce, though it will be much more expensive.

Maybe someone will know for sure if it's ok, and you may not need to feed anything else anyway... But why not make your animal as healthy and happy as possible?
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

NO! Do not try it!!! I gave in to Pepper begging for a veggie dog (made of soy) once...
this is what resulted....

PEPPER NORMAL:




Pepper after eating veggie dog, stayed like this for over 24 hours






Anyway, I took her to the vet. She had an allergic reaction. It may or may not have been the soy but I wouldn't risk feeding soy products or fake meat products again.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickles17
NO! Do not try it!!! I gave in to Pepper begging for a veggie dog (made of soy) once...
this is what resulted....
Anyway, I took her to the vet. She had an allergic reaction. It may or may not have been the soy but I wouldn't risk feeding soy products or fake meat products again.
Nice post, I'm glad I advised against it. I hope she wasn't swollen for too long. Looks like what happens to me when I eat pineapple. Definitely a good idea not to risk things like this!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

Poor Pepper!
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

Nope! And I wouldn't have ever dreamed about feeding her those types of things willingly, I only gave her a bite because she was acting like a rabid maniac begging for it, lol. You should have seen my face when I seen her like that! Holy cow did I freak. Thankfully she was okay.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can Hedgies Eat Tofu/Soy Products??

i am still new but i don't think this is a good idea for our hedgie. Soy product / filler is one of the ingredient that we would like to avoid from the dry food provided to our pet. if this the way we choose our cat food, why would we feed them soy product?
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